This sign of the triad which is to be found all over the world may have several meanings. Some interpret it as a symbol of past, present and future, enclosed in the ring of Eternity; others consider that it refers to religion, science and art, held together in the circle of Culture. But whatever be the interpretation the sign itself is of the most universal character.
The oldest of Indian symbols, Chintamani, the sign of happiness, is composed of this symbol and one can find it in the Temple of Heaven in Peking. It appears in the Three Treasures of Tibet; on the breast of the Christ in Memling's well-known painting; on the Madonna of Strasbourg; on the shields of the Crusaders and coat of arms of the Templars. It can be seen on the blades of the famous Caucasian swords known as "Gurda".
It appears as a symbol in a number of philosophical systems. It can be found on the images of Gesar Khan and Rigden Djapo; on the "Tamga" of Timurlane and on the coat of arms of the Popes. It is to be seen in the works of ancient Spanish painters and of Titian, and on the ancient ikon of St. Nicholas in Bari and that of St. Sergius and the Holy Trinity.
It can be found on the coat of arms of the city of Samarkand, on Ethiopian and Coptic antiquities, on the rocks of Mongolia, on Tibetan rings, on the breast ornaments of Lahul, Ladak and all the Himalayan countries, on Celtic coins and on the pottery of the neolithic age.
It is conspicuous on Buddhist banners. The same sign is branded on Mongolian steeds. Nothing, then, could be more appropriate for assembling all races than this symbol, which is no mere ornament but a sign which carries with It a deep meaning.
It has existed for immeasurable periods of time and is to be found throughout the world. No one therefore can pretend that it belongs to any particular sect, confession, or tradition, and it represents the evolution of consciousness in all its varied phases.
When it is a question of defending the world's treasures, no better symbol could be selected, for it is universal, of limitless antiquity and carries with it a meaning which should find an echo in every heart.
© Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York
©1998 Intl. Center for Peace Through Culture Banner symbol ® Nicholas Roerich Museum
Retour au menu principal
Mise à jour le 27 janvier 2001